Failure to spot simple ideas that are scalable, inability to think or dream big and lack of an eco-system that fosters free thinking are the key impediments for entrepreneurship growth in India, feels K. Jayaram, an academician.
"There is no dearth of funds in India. But we lack an inherent ability to come up with a big project, spot scalable ideas and provide an environment to think and work for the needs of future frontiers. This is a learning out of the LIBA-TiE Business Plan competition," said Jayaram, Associate professor - marketing at the Loyala Institute of Business Administration (LIBA).
LIBA-TiE Business plan competition, organised by the Centre for Entrepreneurship of LIBA and TiE Chennai chapter is a hunt for the best business idea open to both students and general business community. There were about 200 entries from all over India and about eight of the best ideas, 4 from student community and 4 from general category, were selected as finalists. These finalists, who were given mentoring by industry leaders and successful entrepreneurs, had come up with a business plan for their idea to pitch to the venture capitalists. The best idea gets a venture capital funding up to $50,000.
This year's winners in the student category are Bharath Kumar and Gokul Gururajan, students of Great Lakes Institute of Management, Chennai. Their projects were supply chain management solution for small grocers and learning Indian arts at workplace. Under the general category, this year's award was bagged by Chintan Meghawanshi and Kapil Jain for their projects on mobile retailing for vegetable vendors and manually operated power generator gadgets.
"Having been a part of this competition since its inception last year, the key factor that has emerged is the inability of our entrepreneurs to dream big," feels Jayaram. "Our entrepreneurs are not willing to spurn comfortable small opportunities and get roasted in big ideas. It also requires a unique ecosystem to nurture ideas that alter the way of the world which is not available in India but is abundant in the West."
One of the key objectives of LIBA is to foster entrepreneurship among students and to bridge the gap between idea and commercialisation. This has been achieved by the first phase of the LIBA-TiE competition, which saw two plans, one in education and one in medical electronics sector, become reality, Jayaram said.
However, there is a basic flaw in the educational system, he lamented. "Our students are trained to answer questions and not ask questions. Interpretative and evaluative mind is lacking and this is the biggest impediment to development of not just science but also to entrepreneurship."